Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cruising the world press

News, rather than "early history"? Hey, I like it all, and I think it's all connected. As an immigrant, I learned most of what I know about Canadian history from faithful reading of the Globe and Mail over the decades. That may appall some of you, but I learned an amazing amount about the Northwest Rebellion when the paper ran a long series about the centenary in 1985.

One of the very best things the Internet brings us is the opportunity to see the outside world's news media, and find out what is bothering people in other countries. Even in Canada, where the big media pay more attention to foreign stories than US media do, we miss a lot. Important countries -- for example, Egypt -- can hardly fight their way onto the front pages. If there is one Egyptian story a week in the Canadian media, that's amazing coverage.

Now, maybe you don't care very much about Egypt, but in the recent past no matter how interested you were, you were just out of luck -- unless you lived in a big city where foreign papers were available (late and at a high price), or had a short-wave radio.

Today I had a look at a long-established English-language outlet from Egypt, Al-Ahram (the Egyptian name for the pyramids). This week's on-line offering is a round-up of the year 2005. (Short version: they didn't like it much.) One story that particularly caught my eye was Bad Cards, about tension between Christians and Muslims in Egypt. The picture above shows what is apparently the result of a riot in Alexandria. Good luck finding any information on such things in the paper, even the Globe and Mail.

If Turkey and what Turks think are more in your line, there are a number of news sources. One I occasionally visit is the Journal of Turkish Weekly which has both Turkish news and an interesting selection of stories about other parts of the world.

If you like this kind of thing, try clicking on the Google News link to the right. The friendly (?) computers at Google use their immense power to bring you the world -- or some small slice of it.
I use news.google.ca rather than news.google.com just so the Canadian news isn't pushed off the page.

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